It takes a special kind of person to be a teacher. You need to have tremendous patience, strong knowledge in your subject area (or areas), plus the ability to reach kids and speak at their level. I spent a summer teaching and, honestly, that was about as much as I could muster. While humbling, that summer is also the reason why I admire and respect the teaching profession. I know, deep down, that good teachers can do things for my son that I can’t.
That’s not to say, of course, that I want to defer all my responsibilities as a parent to a teacher. As a mom, I am in charge of making sure my son is fed, bathed, dressed, safe, healthy, and happy. I need to be sure to provide a nurturing environment at home, where he has ample opportunity to learn and grow and explore. I need to be the first to teach him about inclusion and feminism and body acceptance and self care and love and any other lesson that I decide is important. I have to be observant and open to him at every opportunity and without hesitation. Just because my son will be in the care of a teacher, doesn't mean my job ends.
However, despite my best and most valiant efforts, I know I’ll always miss things and look past certain things and lack the ability to be present for all the things, especially as he gets older and gains more independence. He may not always want to confide in me, and because I won’t always be observing him, certain things will simply be out of my control. Fortunately, a great teacher can fill in those blanks, including (but not limited to, of course) the following things: